Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Second Chance - Chapter 44


Ben sought for refuge from his thoughts with work but instead found refuge in the bottle of beer he held in his right hand. He closed down the silver laptop and pushed the papers aside. He then surveyed the green bottle as one would the truth. He sighed, and another sip of the bitter sweet liquid down his throat followed. Half way through the bottle and through the many pages of thoughts opened in his head he decided to go for it, to tell this last truth to himself. 

It was a simple and yet a complicated one. He looked around his lovely furnished sitting room and across from him he pictured her holding two kids; one in her laps and the other in her arms. The older boy looked just like him when he was a child, and if the other who he couldn’t make out his face looked like either of them he knew would still be the finest toddler in the world. Their mother looked up and smiled at him, speaking to him in the most enduring voice and in a language his brain didn’t understand and in that dreamy moment he knew he was lost. There he was envisioning the life he hoped to happen and with one person only.  He didn’t want it to stop but he couldn’t control himself from fighting vigorously to not dream of such an ending for him and Bisola. He laid down the bottle and decided to sleep for a while hoping she would call.

It was towards the end of the day that it came finally. In between two napping series it came. He wasted no time before reaching for the phone inside his trouser pocket and sliding the green button to the left to answer.

“Hello?” He said, and knowing he sounded desperate cleared his throat before starting over with a feigned calmer and deeper hello.

“Hey Ben, sorry for disturbing you, I know it’s late but you said I could...”

“Just tell me where and I’ll come get you.” He said.

Instead she began to sob on the phone. “When I lie to him about going to the supermarket, about going to see friends, I just need a place to be. Can you be that place?”

“Bisola where are you?”

“I’ll step outside and we can meet at the small restaurant close to his house. I don’t remember the name again.”

“I’ll find you in 30 minutes.”  He promised before hanging up.

***

Bisola stood outside the door to her new room forming the next lie to be told in order to leave without any suspicion but permission from Tunde. She could hear the loud music that’d kept her from sleeping become even deafening now that she was outside the room, close to the area where the partying was taking place. He had so many people over, from “business” partners to his employees to his friends. They were all drinking to the arrival of the woman Tunde had introduced to them as “the one.”

Cigarette smoke filled the room and the stomach turning smell caused Bisola to make up her lie even faster. She stepped into the partying scene a moment later and pulled Tunde to the side after the cheers from his friends.

“I need to go somewhere urgently.”

“Where babe? The guests are here, this party is for you, and so where else would you rather be?”

“Look, my mom’s sister just called and my brother is sick. I need to be there. I wont be coming back tonight.”

“I see. Do you need some money?”

“Oh no… not at all. I just wanted to let you know before leaving, I don’t want you to think I’m not one hundred percent into this or that I’m running away.” she added with an awkward laugh.

“You know what Bisola; I have a surprise for you. I was going to give it to you in front of our friends and new family but I think now is the best time or do you want it after?”

Bisola didn’t take another minute to think about it, whatever the surprise might be she knew it wasn’t one she was looking forward to. All she wanted was to get out of the house before she died of suffocation.

“Later would be better. I’ll see you then.” She said and then kissed him on the cheek.

Thirty minutes later Ben drove slowly passed the closest restaurant he knew was by Tunde’s home. He rolled his windows down as he began the short search for her. He found her in front of the closed fast food restaurant sitting in one of the bench outside with her eyes on the road looking for him as well. And when she saw his car pulled up in front of her all her worries were gone.

“I wasn’t sure you would come.”

“I’m still paying for the price of not keeping the many promises I’ve made in the past I didn’t want to add this to it.”

That made her feel more secured. She stood up and wrapped her arms around herself and starred at the direction of his car.

“Please get me out of here.” She said and he obeyed. Ben drove her to the one place he hoped she would feel more secured in.

Bisola wasn’t surprised when they approached his home. She followed behind him like a welcomed guest unlike the last time she’d been to his home. He seemed nervous and she was also.

“I didn’t even ask about Aisha,”

“I left her there. She’s enjoying the party. I pray she doesn’t do something crazy. I don’t know why I even left her with her worse enemy. She might burn the house down.” She managed a laugh. “I know you want to ask me why I moved in with him.” She said once he showed her into his sitting room.

Ben began a useless attempt at tidying up the place as Bisola explained her reasons for yielding to Tunde’s request.

“You said one way to get revenge on him was to gain his trust and this was the ultimate way to do it. Imagine if I’d protested this…we would be back to square one.”

“I just don’t think it’s safe there. It’s never safe anywhere with him.” He said, coming back from trashing empty bottles of beer.

“When you say that…it makes it worse.” She sighed. “You’re not helping at all.” She said to him, wanting so desperately to fall and break into pieces in his arms and have him piece her back together, but this want threatening to turn into need needed its wings clipped before it could fly. I can’t allow this, she said to herself. Stop me. She warned.

“But I want to help.” He stated frankly after giving her a moment to herself. “Look at me,” his voice had cooled off, leaving a chill in the room when he spoke. He drew closer to her, too close now Bisola noticed.

“Bisola…look at me.” He instructed, raising her chin up so her eyes could meet his sincere ones. “I want to help you. I don’t want anything back in return except to help put Aisha to rest. I’m not going to lie, I want something else from you but I’ll take whatever I can get. I’m in no place to make demands. You control the game now, I just want to be on your team. Let me be here for you like I’ve never been for any one before and you know who.”

“Ben,” she cautioned.

“You have everything you need. You have Tunde’s trust, you have his clients on your side and one in particular is willing to do anything for you, why don’t we just end this nightmare. You’ve given to much of yourself already and I’m afraid soon you won’t have anything left to give and this will come crashing down so why don’t we do it now? What do you say?”

Bisola heard it in his voice that he was serious and she was tired of this never ending nightmare so she nodded. She watched him reach for one finger and then her whole hand and allowed him take it with her eyes wide open. This isn’t a dream, she thought. He’s going to kiss me now, her heart raced. Have I fallen, she asked when she felt the faint taste of beer in her mouth. She moaned.

4 comments:

Thank you guys for always reading,